Firm: Baltimore home prices down 8.8%
A real estate data firm says Baltimore metro area home sale prices were 8.8 percent lower in the four months ending Dec. 24 than they were a year earlier.
Good news from the company, Clear Capital: Most of the people selling were ... well, people selling. Bank-owned properties made up 15 percent of home sales in the metro area, which isn't as low as some places but is a heck of a lot lower than the 30 to 50 percent in some of the worst-hit parts of the country. (More than half of sales -- 53 percent -- were bank-owned in Riverside, Calif.)
Bad news: Baltimore was No. 9 on the company's list of "lowest performing major markets" because prices dropped almost 1 percent from the previous quarter. (Baltimore's quarterly price rose very slightly in the summer, according to Clear Capital.)
Of course, your idea of "good news" and "bad news" will be reversed if you're trying to buy a foreclosure and want prices to keep coming down. (At least there's some good news for everyone ...)
Top performer, according to Clear Capital: Detroit. Yes, Detroit, land of $10,000 homes, which saw a more than 17 percent increase vs. the previous quarter. The company attributed that to the metro area's foreclosure-saturated market, saying bank-owned prices "continue to rise from their steeply discounted levels of early 2009."
Clear Capital, which draws its sales figures from assessors' and recorders' offices, calculates price by comparing repeat sales of the same homes over the years. You might have noticed that its most recent "quarter" is four months rather than three, and that's by design. It throws in an extra month of sales for balance in order to include very recent numbers, which come from data that can be incomplete.